- Posted April 11, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
2.8 Million and Climbing
America the beautiful.... home of the free, the brave and soon, the new class of homelessness, the long term unemployed. On December 28th, 2013, Emergency Unemployment benefits lapsed leaving 1.3 million people out in the cold without a critical lifeline to sustain their needs while looking for work in an economy where statistcs show there are 3 jobs for every applicant. I have seen statistics on jobsites and some of them show over 100 applicants for one position. GOP filbustering bills to reinstate EUC over the last 3 1/2 months that number has swelled to an enormous 2.8 million Americans including 250,000 American veterans left unable to find work because jobs are scarce in this country. 2.8 million Americans without any source of income. Men and women with Master Degrees fighting for minimum wage jobs and not getting them because they are overquailified. Old generation workers getting turned down for age discrimination. Long term unemployed are being overlooked by employers. So far the filibusters have costs the economy over $5 billion dollars and tens of thousands more jobs.
The bipartisan bill (H3979) to exend benefits finally passed in the Senate on April 7 2014 with 6 Republicans, Sen. Jack Reed; D-R.I. and Dean Heller; R-Nev.Sen. Susan Collins; R-Maine, Rob Portman, R-Ohio; Lisa Murkowski; R-Alaska; Mark Kirk; R-Ill joining the vote for a final 59-38 count for a 5 month extension of EUC with retroactive pay. Hooray people can eat, but wait that bill has to go to the House of Representatives where Speaker John Boehner is doing everything he can to block it from being passed. He wanted a fully paid for extension which he received and job creation. Guess what Speaker Boehner, Americans want job creation too but they also want a roof over their heads. I do believe the roof needs to come first. Mind you this extension has been passed 5 times under President Bush with a lower unemployment rate and without being paid for. Boehner has said that retro pay was "unworkable" and "that reauthorizing unemployment insurance would be too difficult for states to implement." U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez disagrees with Boehner.
Today in a press conference Boehner stated "Listen, I made clear to the president last December that if he wanted us to consider an extension of emergency unemployment benefits, it would have to be paid for and it would have to include things that would help get our economy going. They have not put forward anything with regard to how we would create more jobs. And so the ball's still in their court." 2.8 million unemployed people and climbing by 72,000 every week with a total estimated 4.9 million long term unemployed by the end of the year and that's Boehner's best response. Mind you once again EUC has been reinstated 5 times under Bush without "having a ball in someone's court." or being paid for.
The unemployed have this stigma of being "lazy." and that is a lie! This country is in a recession and lay-offs are through the roof. Stores are closing down in droves. Sam's club, Radio Shack, and Sbarro just to name a few, have reported mutiple store closings. The unemployed come from all walks of life with various educations. Some long term unemployed have multiple Master Degrees and some have less than a high school education and everything in between. Employers are also paying less wages and offering part time work instead of full time. Many of the unemployed have sent out hundreds of resumes resulting in very few interviews. Noone lives the high life off of Unemployment which is estimated at $300 a week. You are not living large off of $300 a week. If you think this can not happen to you. You are sadly mistaken.
After 3 1/2 months without an income, living for up to 26 weeks on state unemployment benefits estimated at $300 a week, already financially strained, may people have depleted their bank accounts, 401K's, stocks, and children's college funds. Many have lost their homes, cars, phones, heat and electricty. Things people have worked their entire lives for...gone! I have read so many stories of evictions and mothers not being able to feed their kids. Welfare lines are out the door, that is if you are lucky enough to quailfy, which many people do not. So no income but you do not qualify for any public assistance? That should raise an eyebrow. Isn't that what public assistance is for. The long term unemployed including 250,000 US veterans slowly living in their car, on the streets and in homeless shelters after working and paying taxes to a country that should extend a helping hand especially in a tough economy. Men and women wanting to commit suicide because they can not see a light at the end of the tunnel. EUC is a lifeline, not a lifestyle. How are people supposed to find a job when their internet has been cut, their phone has been cut and they do not have a dollar for the bus to get to an interview? This could be you. what would you do? What are people supposed to do?Millions of children are suffering. I have asked Speaker Boehner this question many times in emails and on facebook. I have yet to get a response to my question. A United States veteran and any hard working American should never wonder where their next meal is coming from or where their kids are going to sleep at night.
Tomorrow is a new day and I hope for the sake of millions of Americans that Boehner stops playing politics with people's lives, does the right thing and passes legislation to restore EUC and work on getting jobs created for the millions of stressed Americans before the Senate and the House break for 2 weeks. Americans want to work! Americans can not wait 2 weeks to eat! Let's get this bill passed and signed!
4/11/2014 While The House of Representatives breaks for 2 weeks without a decision to restore Emergency Unemployment Benefits to the long term unemployed, how many Americans will lose their homes and apartments, how many children will be homeless on the street, how many will commit suicide, how many more Americans will lose everything they have worked so hard for? The stories are endless and each one more heartbreaking. Mothers who do not have enough food to give their children and babies. Diapers cost money! Millions of children are affected by not renewing EUC. Pets getting surrendered to shelters, food pantries are running low and people can not put gas in their car to look for a job. Veterans becoming homeless. By the end of the year there will be almost 5 million Americans and their families in this same boat. What would you do to feed your family? Americans want to work, where are the jobs? They certainly are not in this country! Tax paying Americans that have worked all their lives should not have to live in poverty because of losing their job. People think it can't happen to them but nobody is exempt from losing their job. This could be you one day. Boehner needs to do the right thing and Renew EUC and stop playing politics with people's lives.
4/28/2014 EUC Still not passed. The unemployment issue is not going to go away. This is a problem in our nation that needs to be solved NOW before it becomes an epidemic. Americans do not have a second to wait for Congress and the House to play well together. Millions of people are suffering in the interim. Lights have been shut off, water has been shut off, people can not wash their clothes because they can not afford soap. Pets have been given up to shelters. Cars repossessed. Cell phones shut off, children going to bed hungry and the homeless population is growing. I read a story about a woman's husband committed suicide. Jobs are NOT a dime a dozen. I have seen as many as 600 applicants for 1 position. So let's see, no income, no jobs and no help from the government because EUC was allowed to lapse on December 28th 2013. Mind you EUC was passed many times beforehand with a lower unemployment rate. Where is the logic in that? 250,000 veterans are among the 2.8 million long term unemployed. Add 1.2 million children on top of that. $5 billion dollars lost and over 200,000 more jobless due to not extending Emergency Unemployment Compensation. By not extending EUC, by the end of 2014 there will be over 10 million Americans affected by this. 10 million people that once had an active part in this economy now being thrust into welfare, homelessness and into poverty. Let's not forget about the men and women in their 50's and 60's that have become unemployed through no fault of their own being age discriminated. Many of these people have gone through their life savings and their retirement. Now what's going to happen to them in 5 or ten years or now when they can not find a job? I am sick and tired of the stigma surrounding the long term unemployed as being lazy. The long term unemployed have worked very hard! These are nurses, admins, truck drivers and most of all these are hard working educated Americans who because of this terrible economy have lost their jobs. I know Congress and the House are highly educated and need to do the right thing. Americans want to work! Where are the jobs? Not renewing EUC is bad for Americans and bad for the economy. Americans are going hungry while $1 billion dollars goes to the Ukraine!
If you are unemployed and looking for resources please visit this website: http://www.empoweringpeoplewithavoice.com/
Caryn La Greca